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James Gammill

Member Since 2004

  • 6 reviews
  • 28 ratings
  • 770 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015

  • Great American Short Stories: Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Stephen Crane, and others
    • Narrated By various

    This collection is a short-story lover's dream. Included are 17 classic works, representing the finest American writers in the genre. Included are "Bartleby the Scrivener" by Herman Melville, "The One Million Pound Bank Note" by Mark Twain, "The Pit and the Pendulum" by Edgar Allan Poe, and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving.

    Empowerment says: "Great Selection"
    "Try any other book"

    I have read works by most of these writers that I enjoyed very much. These stories focus on character description, but the plots are flat. Maybe we have experienced so many great stories written in the last hundred years, that these from the 1800s come across as amateur attempts. The only truly great story here is "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge". You would be better off trying any of the new books that are available.

    2 of 27 people found this review helpful
  • Eating Animals

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jonathan Safran Foer
    • Narrated By Jonathan Todd Ross

    Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his teenage and college years oscillating between omnivore and vegetarian. But on the brink of fatherhood - facing the prospect of having to make dietary choices on a child's behalf - his casual questioning took on an urgency His quest for answers ultimately required him to visit factory farms in the middle of the night, dissect the emotional ingredients of meals from his childhood, and probe some of his most primal instincts about right and wrong.

    Natalie says: "Surprisingly Even-Handed"
    "Not really as represented."

    Although represented as a blend of philosophy, literature, science, memoir, etc, this book is really about the abuses of factory farms. Any health benefits of a vegetarian diet are not even considered. Although I agree with the writer's opinion that our eating meat supports a cruel industry, I would not have purchased the book just to hear that theme repeated hour after hour. I expected something more thoughtful.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • World Without End

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In 1989 Ken Follett astonished the literary world with The Pillars of the Earth, set in 12th-century England. Readers and listeners ever since have hoped for a sequel. At last, here it is. Although the two novels may be listened to in any order, World Without End also takes place in Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building their exquisite Gothic cathedral. The cathedral is again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge.

    Laura says: "Repetitive, but still enjoyable"
    "Great Historical Fiction"

    Many reviews rightly emphasize the great story and characters. Thankfully, there are many books that do the same. But what makes this story extraordinary is the historical context. The challenges faced and decisions made by these characters are the issues that brought us out of the Dark Ages and into the Early Renaissance. This story illustrates the pain of change on a grand scale; the decline of the feudal system, the fading power of the guilds on economic life, the first signs of the weakening influence of the Church over all aspects of society, and questioning of mindless adherence to tradition.
    Many times throughout the story, I was reminded of Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. The theme of both books is that individuals of ability and courage can shape their destiny and change the course of history.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Empire: The Empire Duet, Part 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Orson Scott Card is a master storyteller, who has earned millions of fans and reams of praise for his previous science-fiction and fantasy works. Now he steps a little closer to the present day with this chilling look at a near-future scenario: a new American Civil War. The American Empire has grown too fast, the fault lines at home are stressed to the breaking point, and the war of words between Right and Left has collapsed into a shooting war.

    Andrea says: "Good pace, weak premise"
    "Civil War?"

    If you are an Orson Scott Card fan because of the science fiction aspect of his stories, expect something different from this book. However, his books are really about intrigue, political maneuvering, and strength of character. Empire brings those elements to a current setting.
    Be prepared for the range of emotion that would be inevitable if you witnessed another Civil War in America. Some parts are painful; more so than if they were taking place at a future time and place instead of here and now.

    7 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters

    • ABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Gordon Dahlquist
    • Narrated By Alfred Molina

    It began with a simple note: a letter of rejection delivered to Miss Temple on her maid's silver tray. But for Miss Temple, her fiance's cruel rejection will ignite a harrowing quest for truth, plunging her into a mystery as dizzying as a hall of mirrors. Thus begins Gordon Dahlquist's spectacular literary debut, a novel of Victorian suspense that shatters conventions and seethes with danger and eroticism.

    Susan says: "Please Note This is Abridged!"
    "A Casual Listen? Not Quite!"

    This is a complex storyline with lots of characters to keep straight. If, after reading hundreds of books, you search for writers and stories with some evidence of original thought and imagination, then you should be pleased with this selection. The book cannot be easily classified: Action-Adventure, Suspense/Mystery, and Erotica could all apply.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil and Miss Prym: A Novel of Temptation

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Paulo Coelho
    • Narrated By Linda Emond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A community devoured by greed, cowardice, and fear. A man persecuted by his painful past. A woman searching for happiness. In one eventful week, each of them will face questions of life, death, and power, and each will choose their own path. Will they choose good or evil?

    Kourosh says: "Classic."
    "The Art of Storytelling"

    This is classic storytelling, and it is well done. Good vs. Evil with the hero/heroine facing a moral delima. The ending is not quite what I had wished, but if everything were as we expect, where is the suspense?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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